yeovil, somerset, UK
The existing crematorium is set within 10 acres of parkland landscape with many areas created for quiet and private contemplation. The facility and grounds deal not only with the immediacy with lost loved ones but act as a vessel for memory. A road carves through the centre of the site and splits it in two, separating the crematorium from much of the landscape. In addition, more roads and car parking prevent funeral guests from engaging with the landscape. In turn, the road encourages relatives of those previously deceased not to engage with the crematorium facilities as a whole and as a facility it is detached from its site, serving only a function rather than fulfilling its potential as a valuable community asset.
By raising the chapel up, into the canopies of the trees and above the infrastructure and goings on at ground level, the chapel can enjoy extensive views in all directions under a veil of carefully controlled natural light. Lower levels are solemn and experiential and allow for Reflection with carefully controlled views and light. This dichotomy provides an experience that reflects the various emotions and feelings of the event and offers spatial quality befitting of the event of celebrating the passing of life.